Barbara Ann (Provan) Hayman
My Mom was the real deal. In some circles it was widely known of her great kindness, sweet disposition, & how her always positive smile could affect those around her. Barbara Ann (Provan) Hayman passed away peacefully in her own bed Sunday, September 18, 2022. She was proceeded in death by her husband of 42 yrs Gary Hayman, her father William Provan & mother Blanche (Kukla) Provan. She is loved & survived by her son Wes Hayman & caring daughter-in-law Jay Justiniano, brother Brian Provan & sister-in-law Carol Provan, nephew Dan Provan & wife Amy, niece Pam (Provan) Barragate & husband Brian, with grand-nieces & grand-nephews Hayes, Allie, Emma, Brooke & Brice.
That smile was first put on display in Pittsburgh, PA where she was born to William & Blanche. She spent many a summer swimming Deep Creek Lake along with winters climbing up & down the snow entrenched hills of Baldwin, PA. Before she graduated from Baldwin-Whitehall H.S., she might’ve been noticed twirling her baton high in the air while wearing traditional Scottish ceremonial garb to lead the school band. After which she then attended Penn State Univ., where she earned her bachelor’s degree, while also holding down the anchor leg for the Nittany Lions female relay swimteam. The true athlete that she was, she later in life would regale me, her son, with the story of ‘in her day’ how good she was at speed ice skating & if it had been an Olympic event or even a collegiate sport she would’ve really enjoyed doing her thing. That doesn’t mean she didn’t garner attention while on the P.S.U. swimteam. Often in the stands at her swim meets was a soon-to-be star RB/WR/KR Specialist on the Nittany Lions Football team, my soon-to-be father. And I also mustn’t forget, often accompanying him to these swim meets was a newly acquainted, eventual lifelong friend & Best Man, Nate Abney. I would myself, as an adolescent, hear a story in which they would joke with her because her leading teammates in the relay were so slow that often the race was over before my Mother even had a chance to dive in the water. My Pops never left out of the story that my Mother always finished the race & that’s important. Even if, as the joke goes, your future husband makes an announcement asking if everyone would please clear the pool with you being the only participant still swimming.
In line with her humanitarian nature Barbara graduated from P.S.U. with her Bachelor’s in Park & Recreation. Which at the time handled the children’s extra-curricular programs for state & federal funded efforts attempting to serve youth in underserved communities. Her first job in this arena was right out of college in Washington DC & later New York City. NYC, Brooklyn to be precise, is where she lived when she married Gary. They eventually moved to his hometown in Delaware where they lived out a marriage of 42 yrs & meaningful relationship spanning over 50 yrs. My Mom continued to work with the public for 38 yrs for the Federal Soc. Sec. Administration. During which time she also participated for over 32 yrs in Newark DE Branch NAACP serving the majority of that time as secretary & treasurer; alongside my Father, Gary, who served as President. The backbone for many, if not all, of my father’s accomplishments after sports was my Mom; his accomplishments were theirs.
Also not to be overlooked, was the courage it took to enter into an interracial relationship back in the late 1960’s in America. Better documented now, I imagine than throughout this country’s history, are the torments black men that were dating a white woman received from both white & black sides. Black men suffered the greatest targeting of any group in this country even without making this social choice. But to make this choice even in anticipation of soon being in P.S.U.’s relatively large public eye, I’ve only ever been able to define this as young & dumb. I only bring this up to say my Mom made no small choice to brave it with him. I asked her once, ‘Why Dad?’, and she answered ‘When you know you just know, that’s all’. Life was that simple for her and I admired her for that.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 3 pm until 5 pm on Monday, September 26, 2022, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 North Dupont Parkway, New Castle, DE. A second visitation will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at the funeral home, where a funeral service will begin at 11 am. Interment will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 North DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE.
In lieu of flowers, please join or donate to Newark Delaware Branch NAACP, P.O. Box 9213, Newark, DE 19714.